French Dressing – Summer 2013

We live in a global market of micro fashion trends. Apparel brands create their own reality to serve their fans. There are few really big trends that are so salable, so wearable, that they bubble up all over the market simultaneously. A tad nautical, combined with a pinch of early sixties ingénue, French Dressing is summer 2013’s most enchanting big fashion trend.

French Dressing is reminiscent of the endlessly chic style of French women, who are masters of remixing classics in fresh combinations. The contrast of gender-neutral graphic stripes and dots with full-blown feminine styling, delivers an irresistible knock out punch. The combination of sport and sweet is modern and ageless.

French Dressing is summer 2013's most chic and wearable trend.

French Dressing is summer 2013’s most chic and wearable trend.

The colors are summer’s most versatile neutrals, deep navy and pure white, sprinkled with a touch of bloody Mary and periwinkle blue.

Dresses are especially important including fit and flares, halters and shifts. There are both 60’s structured woven dresses and simple knit sheaths. Bottoms include white denim, boyfriend jeans and shorts, printed and lace shorts, pencil, short-flared and 5-pocket skirts. Tops include boat, cowl and crew necklines. Retro looking swimwear includes flattering under-wire bikinis and 50’s style one-pieces. Fabrications are very casual, such as twill/spandex, seersucker, cotton and linen knits.

The footwear is casual, with platform, tie and flat espadrilles, smoking slippers, pointy-toe flats and vulcanized sneakers. Slouchy straw totes, retro and aviator sunglasses complete the look.

Parlez-vous Français?

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel,  footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

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Restoration Hardware’s New Boston Home

RH's Boston store is a branding tour-de-force.

RH’s Boston store is a branding tour-de-force.

Expect to be awestruck, breathless, converted to a quiet, monastic, simple life. The Restoration Hardware (now called RH ) has completed their renovation of one of Boston’s most iconic Back Bay buildings into one of the most moving retail brand experiences I ever had.  In my career as a trend watcher, I have been in countless thousands of them, but haven’t been this moved by a retail experience since the first time I stepped into the Food Halls at Harrod’s.

RH has recently completed their renovation of the former retail location of the venerable Louis of Boston, at the corner of Berkeley and Newbury Streets in Boston. The grand, free-standing building was built in 1864 for The New England Museum of Natural History. (which later became the Museum of Science and moved to The Charles River). It was vacant for several years when Louis moved to the South Boston waterfront. I wondered what retail tenant could do justice to this uniquely beautiful property. Ralph Lauren topped my short list for companies with the capital and vision to pull it off. RH was not on my list.

The floral area on the first floor.

The floral area on the first floor.

The store is a triumph.  It is the essence of modern, traditional home furnishings… spare, classic, oversized and dressed with buttery leathers and neutral linen. It is masculine and quiet, but emotionally rich on every level. It is palatial and clubby. RH has hit exactly the right note blending contemporary touches like the commanding glass elevator and slick concrete stairwell, while paying homage to the sheer beauty of the original architecture of this edifice. It is a textural, neutral symphony, with a hip background track. It is like experiencing their products through vintage sepia photos.

This tour-de-force brand experience is not to be missed. Expect to be converted to an RH disciple. It may have you shopping for a larger home to fit their enormous furnishings.

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel,  footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

This commanding stone bar is for in-store events.

This commanding stone bar is for in-store events.

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